From Corporate America To Community Advocate: Here’s How One Mom Is Working To End Police Violence


Tansy McNulty spent over a decade working for large corporations, but her life changed in the summer of 2016 when she returned home from a vacation while pregnant with her first child. 

McNulty came home to the news of the deaths of Anwun “Ronnie” Shumpert, Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. These three Black men from three different US cities all died at the hands of police. McNulty said that when she returned to work the following week, despite these shocking instances of police brutality, colleagues about her job said nothing about it.

It was an experience that made her want to do something more purposeful, especially as she was going to bring a Black child into the world. In 2018, McNulty quit her job and started 1 Million Madly Motivated Moms (1M4). Her goal is to end police violence by 2038.

During an interview with Business Insider, McNulty revealed the meaning behind the name. “I chose ‘1 million’ because I thought I needed a lot of people. It turns out I just need a lot of the right people. ‘Madly’ is a play on the stereotype of the ‘angry Black woman,’ but we are saying ‘madly’ to mean intently and passionately. And then ‘Motivated.’ We’re motivated by our love for our children, for whom we are responsible.”

The organization aims to eliminate police violence by 2038, with the hope that over the course of 20 years, the next generation will be able to tackle this systemic problem.

McNulty says that the driving force behind 1M4 is a network of Black mothers, telling ESSENCE, “It is important that Black mothers fuel the work to end police violence since we have the greatest vested interest in truly ending this systemic issue. It is the lives of our loved ones that are most at risk and we are committed to protecting them through our innate resourcefulness and innovative thinking. No longer do we want to be ones called, screamed or cried out for during the last moments of life. We work to be at the table, literally and figuratively, designing solutions to prevent harm and keep families and communities intact.”

From Corporate America To Community Advocate: Here’s How One Mom Is Working To End Police Violence

Rather than living in constant anger or fear for her family, McNulty is determined to work hard to make their future more secure. She says the organization recognizes that Black women are often the unseen victims of police brutality and aims to provide financial support to them during such a difficult time.

“Black mothers are the ones tasked with fundraising for legal expenses while learning how to maneuver the inequitable legal system,” McNulty explained. “This happens while fighting through grief to work towards accountability; because true ‘justice’ is not possible after a life has been taken. There is little to no time for grieving because mothers immediately begin building a case to highlight the wrong that occurred. As time passes, evidence disappears, the public loses collective interest, and legal limitations begin. Time is of the essence. For Black mothers who have not directly been impacted by police violence, our sleep is hindered and anxiety rises by thinking about and wondering, ‘what if this happens to my baby?’”  

Another key part of 1M4’s mission is prevention. Instead of fighting for accountability, 1M4 is focused on compiling and providing resources to address the needs of the Black community. “We have released a first-of-its-kind directory called The Right Response to provide 250 alternative response teams across the nation who can respond in person to mental health, behavioral health, and substance use disorder emergencies, reducing reliance on and interactions with law enforcement,” McNulty shared.

“With at least 25% of police violence deaths involving people who have a mental health or disability need, we knew it was important and timely to provide this information free and easily accessible. We are also partnering with technology startups to offer safety solutions powered by cell phone apps.”

Ultimately, McNulty says, “I want our community to know that no matter what issue faces us there are Black maternal figures (i.e., moms, grandmothers, aunties, etc.) out there working to resolve the problem and transform the system. You may not know us by name but you will feel and experience the impact of our lifesaving work. We hope that when you see and read about 1M4 that you feel compelled to join us and ensure your local community is aware of and equipped to prevent and reduce state sanctioned harm.”

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